By Charity Rattray
Each year we collaborate with friends to plan a refreshing time for our families. The meals are shared and the group as a whole works together, making the fires, hauling the gear, adventuring out together the next day.
Whether the goal is a surf trip or otherwise when we collaborate with others we find a rich satisfaction in the outcome. Collaboration is working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals. Jesus invited 12 men to collaborate, preach the kingdom of God, and follow him. He met them at the shore of the sea and called them out. And at that they left their nets to live more life and challenge than could ever be called ordinary.
He, Christ, took on the risk and mess of relational challenges, pride, and human nature. Through his example we see the value God places upon relationship and collaboration in our lives. Just after the death of John the Baptist Jesus withdrew, for the refreshing of solitude, this time that plan would go unmet. Often life transitions mid-stream. Christ leans into compassion and utilizes his team.
Matthew 15:13 When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Notice Jesus said to them, “You give them something to eat.” He is directing the team into action- he is placing a value upon the team for the distribution and needs around them. The men experienced a creative miracle in community, and gathered 12 basketfuls of the extras that were left over.
You were created for community, for collaboration, for relationship. It’s time to connect. It’s time to trust. Where will you go together that you wouldn’t go otherwise? It’s said one can run faster, two can run farther.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12New International Version (NIV)
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Charity Rattray lives in Ellensburg, Washington, with her husband Jared Rattray and four children. Charity had a profound love encounter with Jesus at the age of 18 and all aspects of her life are fueled from the source, Jesus the Love of God. Charity and Jared founded United By Love, where people of various denominations and religious backgrounds can come together with the common, united mission of sharing the love of Jesus Christ. She serves at Mercer Creek Church happily leading kid’s worship, summer day camp, and various church activities.